World Cancer day has meaning to us, and everyone who has been affected by cancer. But what we are about to share is probably not what you expected…
February 4th 2013
This day was marked in our calendars as Mark’s 50th Birthday, because at that time February 4th was our Dad’s Birthday and nothing more.
But February 4th 2013 would be the day that changed our lives forever. Carley was rushed into the emergency room short of breath and severely underweight. After rounds of tests, oxygen tubes, breathing masks and so much more one curious doctor finally scoped Carley’s throat. The scope stopped dead in its tracks. It couldn’t go any further because something was in its way. It was at that moment that we finally realized Carley didn’t have exercise-induced asthma. Before any other tests were run Carley was taken into the OR (operating room) for an emergency tracheostomy. Simply put, to create an airway for her to breath below the mass in her throat. We slept in hospital chairs sprawled across the room waiting for her to wake. Anyone who has seen Kiss and Cry knows exactly how this part goes. She awoke to scribble down the story of how she felt she was being drowned, how the anaesthetic that was supposed to jumble her memory didn’t work and how she was awake for the incision into her neck.
She breathed easier and for a brief moment, we did too.
But that quickly ended because not knowing what she was up against started to sink in.
And that was February 4th 2013.
February 4th 2014 was Dad’s second and successful 50th Birthday Celebration.
February 4th 2017
A few years later down the road came February 4th 2017, the Toronto Premiere of Kiss and Cry. Another February 4th with tremendous meaning. This day changed our lives once again. Carley’s story was out in the world and ready to inspire hundreds of thousands of people. Her message of “Always Smile” was about to embark on a worldwide journey (courtesy of Netflix). And soon our inboxes would be flooded with messages about how Carley and her courageous outlook on life have saved their lives. These messages have not stopped, they have doubled…
Today is February 4th 2019
Our dad (Mark’s) 56th Birthday and World Cancer Day. We continue to honour Carley by working to unite traditional and holistic cancer care in hospitals while of course spreading her message of always smile! Our first initiative to conquer this mission was set in motion on January 15th, Carley’s Angels Funded the FIRST Psychosocial Oncology Fellowship program at SickKids. This innovative program includes therapies encompassing mental health, mindfulness, nutrition, and support groups for cancer patients and their families. Learn more here! If you would like to support us in our mission please donate here. And If you would like to share with us how Carley’s Message of “Always Smile” has changed you forever please leave your message in the comments below. Because world cancer day is about realizing that everyone knows someone who has battled cancer and because of this we are all certainly connected.
By: Riley Allison